Each state has their own specific laws and penalties for DUI offenses. The states with the harshest DUI penalties include the following:
• First-time offenders who are convicted of a DUI offense are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for a minimum of six months. All non-extreme DUI cases for first-time offenders are no longer given the right to a jury trial. An extreme DUI offense is charged when the person’s BAC was .15 or higher at the time of arrest. Anyone who is arrested for a DUI offense and has a minor under the age of 15 in the vehicle at the time can be charged with an Aggravated DUI, which is a Class 4 felony offense.
• A first DUI conviction in Florida will result in a driver’s license suspension ranging from six months to one year. The judge can impose a jail term of up to six months or nine months with a BAC of .20 or if a passenger under the age of 17 was in the vehicle at the time. The driver’s vehicle will be impounded for at least ten days.
• A first DUI offense in Georgia is considered a misdemeanor crime and will result in a driver’s license suspension for one year. The jail term can range from ten days to one year and the offender must perform at least twenty hours of community service.
• As of July 1, 2011, any driver who is involved in an accident in which a serious injury or death occurred must submit to a chemical test. If the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing, their driving privileges will be revoked for a minimum of one year. A first-time DUI conviction will be charged as a Class 4 felony offense if a passenger under 16 suffers bodily harm.
• A first DUI conviction in New Mexico includes being sentenced up to 90 days in jail. The offender must install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for one year. Additional penalties include performing community service, an alcohol evaluation and completing a DWI educational program.